The Coalition of Northern Groups ,Katsina State Chapter on Thursday alleged that terrorists had begun to collect levies from some communities in the state.
Although the Coalition did not disclose the amount being collected and methods of collection,it alleged that residents of communities in Batsari,Safana, Faskari and Dandume Local Government Areas of the state were those paying the levies.
The Coalition Chairman for the Northwest,Jamilu Charanchi mentioned Daurawa and Kasai in Batsari Local Government Area; Barebari in Safana Local Government Area; Kanin Haki in Faskari Local Government Area and Mahuta in Dandume Local Government Area were where terrorists had begun to collect levies in the state.
The Coalition in a condolence letter to Governor Aminu Masari on Wednesday’s terrorists’ attack at Jibiya-Magamar border town where a Divisional Police Officer for the area,Dsp Abdullahi Rano and an unnamed member of a vigilante lost their lives,expressed concern on current activities of the terrorists in the state.
The letter dated, February 9,2022 was signed by Charanchi and was made public by the Coalition on Thursday.
It read in parts :”The Coalition of Northern Groups, Katsina State Chapter is deeply disturbed by the recent despicable and unchecked decimation and emasculation of our people; destruction of livelihoods; abuse and exploitation of women and extortion of poverty–stricken communities by terrorists in the State.
“In the last few days, armed bandits/terrorists across Jibia, Batsari, Bakori and Faskari have killed scores of helpless and defenseless citizens in addition to multiple kidnappings and other forms of exploitations. Regrettably, these killings, abductions, maiming and exploitations have been going on incessantly with no respite in sight.
“We therefore find the recent killing of Magaji Yangayya, DPO Jibia and an army officer in the state very worrisome and alarming.
CNG has gathered shocking and frightening information that suggests that some of our villages are firmly under the control of the bandits where levies or taxes are imposed on our people, subjecting our poor people into further economic deprivation and devastation.
The stories are condemnably demoralizing as over 50 innocent, defenseless and impoverished citizens of the state were killed systematically in the last four weeks. While these atrocities go on with alarming regularity, the federal government appeared to have completely surrendered prerogative of the use of force to the bandits/ terrorists who today operate parallel governments in villages and communities in the State where they impose taxes and levies on the villages and kill people at will.
“We are convinced that the Government and its functionaries have lost the political will and determination to decisively deal with the problems once for all.The security institutions are grossly understaffed, ill-equipped and poorly motivated to sufficiently confront the monstrous terrorism and rampaging banditry and force them out of their hidden enclaves.
“Therefore, the CNG calls on traditional rulers to stand with their people at this difficult and scaring situation to confront the challenge for our collective survival. Communities must work together under the traditional institutions, religious leaders and community leaders to source for alternative method of preserving and protecting their lives, properties and communities as our security architecture proves incapacitated and or reluctant to decisively and resolutely deal with the problem.
“Unfortunately, the political leaders who are supposed to protect our lives and properties are busy with their politicking without showing iota of sympathy and empathy to the plight of our people. While we condole with families of the bereaved, state government, traditional rulers, Commissioner of police, Nigeria Army and all well meaning citizens of the state, we equally implore our teaming youth’s in the state to rise to the occasion .”
The Spokesman for the Katsina police command,SP Gambo Isah however , described allegation that terrorists had begun to collect levies from residents of the state as ” frivolous”.
He maintained that no case of such had been reported, insisting that the police and other security operatives were working round the clock to ensure safety of lives and property in the state.
Isah declared :” Allegation of terrorists collecting levies ,taxes or whatsoever in any community in the state is not only false,it is also frivolous.Which community; how much is being paid; who is paying what and through what methods are such levies paid.
” Look, the police and security operatives are working round the clock to ensure safety of lives and property in the state.Such efforts led to what happened in Magama-Jibiya on Wednesday where our gallant officer,the DPO paid supreme price while repelling terrorists.The police Command has even reinforced our personnel especially in all the Frontline councils to ensure that peace reigns there.People should not pay any levy to anybody and instead should be bold enough to report such demand to security operatives.We are up to the task.”
Governor Aminu Masari’s Special Adviser on Security, Ahmad Katsina was yet to respond to the SMS sent to him on the allegation while his phone continuously rang out on Thursday.